Decolonizing Dance: Celebrating Bodies of Color

Due October 31, 2019

The Division of Dance and Teatro Palo Alto at Palo Alto College invites the international community of dancers and scholars to our first annual dance festival, Decolonizing Dance: Celebrating Bodies of Color , centering artists who live and work on the margins of dance and movement, April 30- May 2nd, 2020.

We welcome dance professionals who are Black, Indigenous, or of color to submit work that will contribute to a dynamic conversation on decolonization and dance.


papers will be curated by FARO

Topics we are looking to include in the festival will address any of the following components;

  • Decolonizing the western canon, what are the different ways in which we do that?
  • What are ways we can exert agency over the body of color?
  • Do you really have agency in a body of color?
  • Topics of representation when the lens/gaze is the other.
  • What place does conocimiento /tacit knowledge have in the body of color?
  • Strategies for negotiating accessibility, visibility and equity in performance
  • Issues of visibility and recognition of knowledge production from an intersectional sensibility


While we welcome traditional paper proposals and presentations, we are also interested in all formats and practices of the presentation of scholarly work.

  • Submit your bio along with your abstract along with any technical requirements (projector, computer, adaptors, non-traditional space requirements, etc..)
  • Technical writing guidelines can be MLA, Chicago or APA for proposals. If your work is chosen for publication, we will provide further information as all papers presented at the festival will be published online as part of What Was Said and Done (Conference proceedings).




We welcome professional dance artists of color to submit proposals to perform in the Danza.20 concert performance which will close out the festival on the evening of May 2nd, 2020.

We also look forward to considering performance proposals that are non-traditional, site specific, communal, or do not happen in a theatre or on a stage. Non-traditional performance events will be curated to occur throughout the festival.


  • Indicate if you are proposing to be included in the concert, DANZA.20 or a non-traditional performance.
  • Send a bio and synopsis of your proposed performance and any technical requirements.
  • Send links of up to 2 samples of work or of the work you are proposing to bring to the festival.


Workshops, Masterclass, Lectures, Talks:

We welcome artists who desire to share their dance practice through these modes. Workshops, masterclasses, lectures, and talks will be scheduled to happen throughout the three days of the festival. Lectures and talks will be no longer than 1 hour, workshops and masterclasses will be no longer than 2 hours.


For Workshops and Masterclasses, send a bio and a description of what you will be teaching and one to two video sample links if available. Please include information concerning the following:

  • What are your facility requirements (dance studio, theatre, lecture room, etc..)
  • Will you need media and other equipment; ie, projector, microphone, computer, dry erase board, overhead projector, etc..
  • How long will your session/event be



Teatro Palo Alto

Teatro Palo Alto strives to create high quality theatre experience for the bilingual, multicultural community in South San Antonio. Diversity, including gender, is also a cornerstone to our vision, with at least half of the productions each season being written by women. It is crucial for the health of the community to see itself represented in popular culture and the arts. Teatro Palo Alto seeks to bridge the representation chasm that exists in the arts. It is important, necessary, and our onus as Teatro Palo Alto , to continually be in the practice of constructing space for those in, and of the margins. Dance is an art form continually on the margins and continually in an act of disappearance. Dance is held and situated within the bodies of the living, and though we may adapt some technologies to serve as ways for preservation (video, film, labanotation), the physical practice of dance is its best and only true form of transmission and preservation. Bodies of color in dance are further marginalized when institutions of dance continue to force an adaptation to western European modes of practice. It is our intention to open a space where alternative modes can be explored.


FARO (meaning lighthouse in Spanish) is an independent entity supported and sustained by collaborative relationships with existing organizational structures and is born out of our experiences as women of color, conducting rigorous research on the margin and the inherent invisibility of doing so; a reaction to the lack of space for artists/researchers/activists without institutional backing. FARO creates a new space for rigorous creative/research that gives voice to thinkers and doers independently of institutional representation or recognition. It does so by facilitating opportunities that allow for discourse, exchange and interchange between artists/researchers/activists who seek to shift perceptions about function, purpose and value of the practice of art-making through the elimination of boundaries such as borders, titles and institutional hierarchies. We stand behind work that focuses on the lived experiences of the culturally marginalized body of color that inhabits multiple spaces simultaneously; that recognizes and resists the displacement that is inherent in the accessibility and visibility provided by western academic and research institutions; and recognize indigenous, cultural, and social dance rooted in ritual and community, as active parts of the lived experience and viable spaces of praxis. FARO exists as an independent entity supported and sustained by collaborative relationships with existing organizational structures. Initiatives are adaptive and responsive to FARO’s vision, mission and core values of rigor in praxis, accessibility, visibility, equity and reciprocity.